Governor's Program for Gifted Children in 59th year at McNeese - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Governor's Program for Gifted Children in 59th year at McNeese


These students from all over the state of Louisiana are continuing a tradition started here at McNeese in 1959. The Governor's Program for Gifted Children is a 7 week residency program that helps kids develop thinking and problem solving skills. 

"Gifted kids especially sometimes have problems socially or fitting in, and the Governor's Program gives them a place where they're all at the same level intellectually," said Joshua Brown, GPGC director. 

Brown should know. He was a participant himself for 5 years in the 1980s. Emma Shupe is honing her debating skills this summer.

"Yes, I have a lot of fun everyday living around these people," said Emma Shupe of Baton Rouge. "We're all bonded by being gifted and how corny does that sound? It's valid." 

"Being in an environment with other people, with those disorders and experiences in learning, you just know how to deal with each other and talk and learn with each other," said Elijah Charles of Sulphur High School.

The students take academic classes in the morning with enrichment classes in the afternoon.

"It's kinda cool because when you're in your regular school, you feel like you're a lot smarter than the other people," said Anna Shuff of South Beauregard High School. "It's interesting when you come here because you're at the same level and it's a lot more challenging.  I thought I wouldn't like that honestly, but it's really been cool."

"It's better than sitting at home all by yourself doing something once every week or something," said Dillon Royer of Moss Bluff, a student at EDS. "Here, you have something to do all the time."  

"I guess our most famous alumnus is Tony Kushner, who was a Lake Charles native and came to the course as a student," said Brown. "Then he was a counselor. Also, he wrote and directed several of his first plays here." Brown says the goal is to teach gifted children not  what to think, but how to think. For more information, click here.

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